Five Games that Could Have Landed Kansas City Royals a Playoff Spot
4.) May 19 at Minnesota Twins
This is a game that would have helped the Kansas City Royals in a big way. A victory here—plus wins in the other four games we mention—would have pushed the team into the playoffs.
Although, it should also be pointed out the Twins would have had a lot more motivation coming down the home stretch—particularly if they were trailing the Royals—than they did in the actual season. Regardless, every game matters. But some matter more than others. This is one of those games.
The Kansas City Royals entered May 19 with an 0-5 record against Minnesota. It pointed to a larger issue the team would have during the season—an inability to win within the American League Central Division.
An early 3-0 lead could have been even more as the Royals racked up eight hits against Hector Santiago. However, the team was still in good shape thanks to Jorge Bonifacio‘s two-run homer.
Minnesota got a run back on Robbie Grossman‘s fourth inning solo shot. But that was all the Twins could muster against Nate Karns, Strahm, Mike Minor and Joakim Soria. Herrera, though, suffered his second blown save of the season—the first coming in the aforementioned Houston game.
Herrera opened the ninth inning with a strikeout, but Jason Castro singled and Kennys Vargas homered to knot the score. The Kansas City Royals wasted a chance to score in the top of the 10th, allowing Minnesota to walk off in the bottom half.
The Royals walked three straight batters—two by Al Alburquerque and one by Wood—to begin the inning. Jorge Polanco then managed a game-winning sacrifice fly off of Wood.